Page 448: Careful Exchanges
Careful Exchanges
Summary: As they're leaving the Roost, Bastien and Ceinlys pause to speak with Alric and Freya.
Date: 14/10/2012
Related Logs: Don't Beat Your Visitors
Alric Bastien Ceinlys Freya 
Town Square — Terrick's Roost
The town square of Terrick's Roost was once considered well-kept. The stone streets run right up to the building fronts around the edge and the locals have kept the spaces between free of grass and weeds that might otherwise sprung up between them, although dark streaks of stubborn soot have crawled in between the stones. There are several homes and shops located here which show the scars and cinders of the sacking of the town at Ironborn hands. The ruin of the town's Sept can also be seen from here with its ornate stone front rising above the surrounding structures just down the cobblestone road.
October 14th, 289

With their visit to the Roost coming to an end, the envoy from Ashwood stands outside the Rockcliff Inn with their horses. Preparing the animals for departure, some of the men-at-arms who have already managed to finish the task are standing idly by conversing with one another. Bastien is among them, his face set in that unapologetic stoicism that he wears so well.

Standing with her own palfrey, a gorgeous heavy-boned palomino with a long silvery mane, Ceinlys absently watches her servant strapping the last saddlebag in place. That's the handy thing about having a strong horse rather than a dainty little thing - you can keep your belongings with you all the way. One palm smooths gently over the mare's roman nose, while the other gently rubs at her velvety lower lip. The Steward doesn't even seem to mind that the animal presses it's forelock against the pristine kidskin of her bodice; Sweetling might be the only creature that the Lady shows open affection to.

A glance up at the sky, which is slowly gathering dusk, prompts the noblewoman to gently request her coat, which poor old Brigid shambles off to find. It's maybe in one of the other bags. But her charge isn't entirely alone, what with Bastien and the other men looking on. And the handmaid will only be a moment.

Having spent his day wandering around town as usual Alric do soon find the group. Glad to see them perhaps. At least if his smile is to be judged. Then again he could probably be smiling while getting beheaded if he thought that it would help him. "Ser Bastien, lady Ceinlys. Pleasure seeing you both." He offers to them with a bow. Studying them both for a long moment. "I take it that you are about to head back northwards." He says. Falling silent then. Seeing if perhaps they had a moment to spare.

Separating from the group of men, Bastien approaches Ceinlys and lowers his head respectfully. "The horses are nearly ready. We'll leave on your word." Crossing those thick arms of his, Bastien's gaze draws itself towards the familiar sound of Alric's voice. The large man simply grunts, his stoicism seemingly engrained into his very being. Though he does not say anything to dismiss the Charlton, the Knight sets himself between Ceinlys and Alric.

Glancing up as she hears her name, Ceinlys rubs gently at one of her mount's large ears, before she dinsentangles herself from the dozing animal with a last scratch beneath her forelock. A step or two is taken toward Alric and Bastien both, her palms lightly patting dust from her silver-grey skirts as she moves. With her dark hair loose about her bare shoulders and.. yes, an actual smile.. the young woman seems genuinely welcoming to the man who will become her good-brother. "Young Lord Alric. Man of the hour." Okay, so that part is in teasing. But the Steward of Lord Aleister is in one of those rare, sparkling good moods. Perhaps the promise of returning home, or perhaps for some other reason. Who knows, with women.

She has none of the Master of Arms' wary distance - after all, while his distrust may stem from the former vassalage of the Fensters, she knows where their alliegance is soon to lie. Has he realised yet, that such was the purpose of her visit? That, and of course Ceinlys rarely shows unease, regardless of her situation. Content to remain behind that protective, broad shoulder, if only fractionally so, she waits to see what has prompted this last-minute visit from Alric.

Alric only smiles at Bastien. Not seeming to mind the way he is greeted. Inclining his head to the man before looking to the lady. Grinning at her words. "That is me." He offers Dipping his head a bit deeper. "Do send my regards to your lord. He might dislike me, but the feeling is not mutual." Despite how Alric might have been acting against Aleister. "I wished to offer for you to know of our loyalty, as usual. So whatever haopens then you know that I will do what I can. For some reason it feels we will all see a lot of one another." He offers with a kind smile. Glancing to Bastien, not sure how much the man knows. "I believe that you cousin is to set follow you. I am not sure when she will be riding, though she should be safe with Corrin with her." He offers. Speakong quite a lot perhaps. Though he seems quite interested in studying them both while speaking.

It's strange how well the Ashwood Lord settles into the act of becoming a wall. His broad shoulders give Ceinlys whatever cover she desires, and his face does not falter in its blank stare. There is a moment of curiosity laden doubt, but it does not linger for long as the two continue to converse. Bastien is not a man of words, at least not politically, and seems to find it better fits to simply say nothing in situations such as this.

Inclining her head gently, in acceptance of the young man's words - whether she really believes him or not - Ceinlys studiously avoids glancing to Bastien at first, settling upon answering Alric. "Thank you. Much trust has been placed in you, as well as a mantle of considerable honor. I know you would be wise enough not to squander such a prize." The momentary intensity of her icy blue eyes most certainly conveys a subtle warning. Bringing any harm to her kin, actual or rumored, would be a very, very bad idea. But she casts the expression easily aside, moving on to the other offered matter.

"Yes, she did mention the notion. I would be delighted to receive her at Highfield, provided my Lord Aleister has no issue with it. She need only send word ahead and I imagine a further escort could be arranged, should the road remain precarious..?" The words end on a questioning note, and now she looks up and aside to the towering knight who formidably guards her.

Freya enters the market - and the dispute and noble politics from the Leatherworkers. She sees Alric and Bastien and Ceinlys and appraoches them with leather goods. "Lords and ladies Master Bannon has excess stock - have you any need for anything? Pauldron - vambrace - glove - quiver?"

Alric focuses on the lady in return. Nodding to her words. A confident nod to the look of warning "I am quite lucky." He offers. Seeming to mean it. He has tried to keep her safe. Despite the lack of a real threat. There is another nod as the conversation turns to be about the journey of her cousin, he nods. "I would go myself. If she will have me along. But I wish not to intrude. Any help given would be appreciated." He says before he looks over to the approaching indentured. "None needed that I know of." He says. Still not really the richest of houses. He can't act too careless.

That stonewall demeanor fades ever so slightly as Ceinlys gives Bastien that questioning look. A curt nod is given as he speaks in a slightly softer tone to the Steward. "I can arrange an escort, if you wish it. Lord Alric need not be bothered by such triviality." As Freya approaches, Bastien's eyebrow raises and he gives her a disapproving look. Shoo. Thats enough.

Ceinlys' gaze wanders, inevitably, toward the girl who approaches. But her expression brightens with interest, rather than souring dismissively. What noblewoman could resist the opportunity for a last-minute shopping spree? Tilting her head, she casts a glance over what she can see, before calmly posing a question. "Hmm.. have you a hawking glove, perhaps? Tooled, preferably." Alric's words draw her back in to the current discussion, belatedly. "I will discuss it with Lord Aleister.. your new alliance may afford you the hospitality that has been denied the rest of the Charltons." It might. It really depends on his mood. Ahh, is that perchance the reason she's considering buying? A gift might improve his demeanour. Sneaky. Meeting Bastien's gentler gaze with a grateful look and an answering half-smile, the young lady then lays a staying hand, fleetingly, upon his forearm as he seeks to ward off the indentured with his disapproval. She wants to see.

Freya wont be deterred by a six foot giant or Alric's poverty in the face of Ceinlys' interest. She darts under poor Bastien with her load a a worrying speed despite being manacled. "Falconing gloves - I have three that might qualify - all the same quality - the issue is color…"

Alric looks to Bastien with a raised brow. "I would actually prefer escorting her." Better to be there himself to make sure things go smoothly perhaps. Then his gaze goes to Ceinlys. Nodding. "I understand. Although I think he is glad npt to have me there." He says and chuckles. Letting Freya pass through to the lady.

The noble knight exhales from his nostrils as Ceinlys moves to take a look at the wares being offered and mentioned. A befuddled and slightly offended look crosses the man's face as Freya nearly runs him over with her rushing, and after a moment he composes himself. Crossing his arms infront of his chest, Bastien just stares at Freya before following through with Ceinlys' request and aiming his discontent elsewhere.

"Black, or at the very least a fine dark tan." replies the young woman, seeming mildly amused, if anything, by the girl's own dismissal of the towering knight. Lightly withdrawing her fingertips from their rest upon his arm, Ceinlys folds her own against her slender midsection. With a last sidelong look up into Bastien's features, supressing a smirk, she then returns her gaze to the presented goods, waiting to see if Freya has anything close to what she desires. Surely she wouldn't approach a gathering of nobles with shoddy craftsmanship, after all.

To Alric, she offers a nod and a similar smile, her blue eyes wandering only for a moment from Freya's wares. "I understand your desire to accompany. I shall, I assure you, do what I can to see those desires met. Lord Bastien would only arrange further numbers, should they be needed for the journey - not replace you, should you be invited also."

Freya lights up - an easy request - because alot of people like black despite often going for something else to avoid cliche. "I have two - dark grey and near total black. In the Roost we don't have the dyes for a truly decent hue of black…" Freya repeats Master Bannon's opinion in place of having to form her own.

Alric does offer a small grin as the knight seems to almost be overrun. Nodding to Ceinlys words as well. "I understand, my lady. I have no doubt that you would do what you can to assure a safe trip. The decison for me joining lies with your lprd. As well as lady Ilaria. As I said, I wish not to impose too much on her." He says glancing towards Freya but soon his eyes are back to Bastien. Studying the man. "I hope both your brothers are well."

"That's a pity.." Ceinlys eyes the other woman with more interest, now, taking in the manacles about her ankles and her brisk, businesslike demeanour. "Tell me, how much longer are you required to remain here?" She doesn't voice the reason for that seemingly idle enquiry, lacing it as mere chit-chat. "And the dark grey, if you please. May I see it?" A hand extends for the mentioned item, graceful and long fingered, without a single callous or mark. Hard life, being a noble, eh? "Better it appears grey on purpose than accidentally 'not quite black'." Following Alric's answer, she merely inclines her head in agreement, leaving him to move to conversation with the frowning Master of Arms beside her.

"They are as well as they can be." The large Knight's arms remain crossed as he keeps a wary eye on the manacled woman. His attention cannot be fully garnered, it seems, as he takes a moment to clarify. "I am not at liberty to speak for them." It seems Alric will have an easier time talking to a wall. To be fair though, this interaction seems little different from previous ones back in Highfield. The second-oldest Ashwood isn't very well known for his personable nature.

Freya is focused on her customer and she gives her the grey gloves, "I agree wholeheartedly mi'lady." Looking at her manacles, "Should have been coming off in two months - but the Lord Sheriff is annoyed with me - in just the right way - and wants to be rid of me but not in a fatal sense. He told me they were coming off very soon."

Alric let the lady continue her purchase. Keeping an eye on her and the indentured girl. Though listening to the middle son of Ashwood. Nodding to hos words. "That is good to hear. You are pleasant to speak with as usual." He offers, a bit teasingly.

"Hmm." Accepting the gloves, Ceinlys turns them over in her hands, fingertips running across the decorated leather in search of any imperfection of weakness. with her vibrant eyes downcast, she continues speaking quietly with the girl, quite aware of Bastien's watchfulness over the exchange, harmless as it may be. "And aside from your unfortunate circumstances, have you enjoyed your time with the leatherworker?" Why would she care? Ceinlys is about as well known for her compassion as the knight is for his joviality. A glance flits up toward Freya through dark lashes, assessing her response with a detached, but evidently well-honed air. She doesn't hand the gloves back. Seeing as her handmaid is returned, with her mistress' requested coat draped over one arm, she leaves it to the servant to finalise the sale and exchange of coin, when the moment arises. The noblewoman herself, while perfectly at ease, doesn't move from the security offered by her companion's proximity. After all, enemies may lurk anywhere. She knows. She just isn't as blunt about it as he.

Bastien grunts at the tease, his shoulders rolling with a shrug in respone. The man won't be moved by such things. Eventually one of the men-at-arms in waiting moves on towards the group and explains quietly to Bastien that the horses are ready for their journey. Turning away from Alric, the Knight takes a step towards Ceinlys and repeats the message. "We leave on your word, Lady Ceinlys."

Freya asks, "Are they satisfactory my Lady?" she has done the stitching herself with her nimble thieves hands. "To be honest up until recently things were great with the leatherworker. He has three young daughters and a sickly wife and adopted me as a fourth despite my history. Then some squires put me to the beating and I had to show up after work with bruises and a split lip and such like. The Deputy Sherrif found and arrested them. But the problems caused by me showin gup all black and blue - well I sense he'd rather I was not there. His daughters were intermittently distraught and angry. They are only very young." Freya brought trouble into the house - not her fault - but then she wasn't family.

Alric studies all three. Watching their reactions and behaviour. No matter how trivial they seem. Putting them all to note. Listening to Freya's story with a nod when she finishes. "That is quite unfortunate." He offers. Staying rather neutral as usual. He won't bother them more though. Except for adding. "Take care of things, my lady." Said in a light tone. Not specifying what to take care of. Perhaps just her job as the steward, who knows.

At Bastien's gentle prompting, the young lady rouses from her thoughtful reverie, looking up at him with a slight start and a vaguely apologetic expression. "Of course." How long has he been trying to get her moving? At this rate, she's going to find herself hefted onto a shoulder and carried back to Highfield. But she keeps getting distracted. Indeed, her blue eyes are straying back to the trader, consideringly. "..that too." she murmurs, presumably quiet enough that Bastien doesn't hear. And a subtle nod to Brigid implies that the handmaid will take that particular item. She is listening to Freya, though. Ceinlys is not the sort to ask a question and then ignore the answer. She asks only if she wants to know. "I see. And where do you think you will go, upon your release, miss..?" she trails off, leaving it to the thief to fill in her name, even as the noblewoman herself is withdrawing a step. Yes, Bastien, she's going.

One of the other men has thoughtfully untied the Steward's palfrey and now leads her over, handing the reins to the ebon-maned young woman, who rubs affectionately at the large animal's nose. Moving to the saddle in preparation to mount up, she pushes her deliberately long riding skirts a little aside, though doesn't reach for the stirrup just yet. Maybe one of the guards will give her a boost, or maybe she's used to managing by herself. At Alric's words, she offers him a smile of understanding. "I shall. And you, Young Lord."

As Ceinlys' palfrey is brought to her, Bastien moves towards his waiting destrier. The man wastes no time getting up and into the saddle, before trotting over towards the group. The animal is well trained and obeys his every tug and pull as the Knight patiently endures his charge's dawdling. "Such abuse is unbecoming of Knights to be." That seems to be all he has to say on the matter.

Freya curtsies, "Freya - Freya Caul - Mi'lady" she says. It has a significance of its own. Freya was the daughter of Mern the Mummer a famous thief - and a bundle of other stuff. Reduced to rags and chains in the Roost. But at least she wasn't dead. Or dismembered.

Waving off the guard who hesitantly moves as if to aid her, Ceinlys places a booted foot in the stirrup and swings lightly up into the saddle; seated astride rather than side-saddle, as some women prefer. Patting gently at the palomino's powerful neck, she smiles down at Alric and Freya both, as her handmaid makes the exchange of coin for goods and stows the latter in an already stuffed saddlebag. The noblewoman's silvery skirts drape the muscular flanks of her golden mount, though the creature seems well used to such distractions. Gathering up her reins and flashing a brief glance over the rest of the group as they mount up, Ceinlys offers one last thing. "A pleasure to see you again, Young Lord Alric.. and to meet you, Freya. Perhaps we shall cross paths again, soon." And then, arching a brow in Bastien's direction, she urges her palfrey on with a nudge of heels, setting off out of the square and along the road back to Highfield. There's a reason for the surly knight's displeasure - it's almost definitely going to be dark, now, by the time they reach the distant lights of home. Oh well.

Alric keeps silent. Offering a bow to the lady before inclining his head to the knight as well. Though as they start to ride he is left with the indentured woman.